Last night, I took my family to the movies. I can’t remember what movie we saw. I guess that means this blog’s opening line of “last night” was simply me trying to convince you that this is a current story, rather than some recycled memory from the depths of my brain. It was actually several months ago, but don’t you think you would enjoy reading this more if it just happened?
My wife and I have an excellent home equity line of credit which we can draw upon to bring the four members of my family to the movies. Four tickets, one large shared drink, and one large popcorn bucket totaled a cost matching the national debt. But I got a bit of reimbursement as my children unloaded the caramel powder flavoring onto the popcorn. They probably should have just taken off the top all together and poured it in. At least in doing it in that fashion the air in the lobby of the theater would not have been saturated with powdered caramel dust. Four fellow movie goers were rushed to the hospital with critical respiratory issues. Sorry about that.
After dusting ourselves off, we made it to our seats. I love watching movies! I enjoy watching movies even more now that my children are a bit older. I allow my twelve and thirteen year old boys to see fairly mature movies. The movie selection is not an anything goes, but let’s just say that I haven’t seen a cartoon on the big screen in a long time. Nemo, you’re a cute little fish with that tiny flipper on one side and all, but honestly, I don’t miss you at all.
Well the previews and the movie came to pass. My sons interrupted everyone in the theater to use the restroom only once. Their attempt at walking down the aisle hunched over in order to not block everyone’s view leaves much to be desired. They are fast, but not fast enough. If you do the math and calculate the monetary cost of the amount of time spent in the bathroom based on the total investment of this night out, you’ll note that actual cost of the large drink is even more appalling than originally thought. That large barrel of pop caused their bathroom break to ring up to be about $1.21 of missed movie viewing time. When is the last time you spent more than a dollar to take a leak?
My movie going family has this odd little tradition. When the movie ends, we continue watching the credits to the very end. I have several reasons I like doing this. First, we play a silly little game. We search the first names scrolling up the screen for the names of people in our family. “Hey, there goes a Logan!” “Look, it’s a Denise!” We almost never find a “Marcus” and “Devin”, but we keep trying.
I think the second reason that I stick around for the credits is that whole cost of the movie thing that clearly I’m troubled with. Since I just sacrificed part of my children’s college fund to see this movie, we better use this time as an educational opportunity. Today’s lesson, what does the “best boy” and the “key grip” do? Anyone? Anyone?
Third, some movies will tack on a little extra clip of goodness after or during the credits. What if you leave the theater and miss out on the blooper reel that the editor spliced onto the very end of the movie? How would you feel? Oh wait, you wouldn’t know any better. You already left! I hope I didn’t ruin your day by enlightening you on how much joy you voluntarily walk away from in your life. Sad really.
And lastly, deep down inside I think it’s kind of funny that the teenage employees assigned to cleaning up the theater for the next showing are not allowed to start cleaning until all of the customers have left. They have to just stand there at the base of the theater with their broom and bucket on a stick and observe my family pointing at names scrolling by on the screen. This brings me an odd satisfaction. I know, I have issues that run deep.
Unfortunately on this particular night, my son whispered to my wife that has stomach wasn’t feeling good with about ten minutes remaining in the movie. So when the credits started rolling my wife told me that she noticed him really squirming around in the seat and looking uncomfortable. So we left as soon as the movie ended and long before the credits concluded. I’ll get you next time you lucky teenage movie sweeper.
As we were exiting the building, I decided to hang on to the plastic gallon-sized jug that once held our single shared pop. I shook out the last remaining drops of pop behind my car and handed the empty cup to my son with an understanding that if he gets sick, this is his target. Well we almost made it home. With about five minutes to go until we hit our driveway, the noises produced by my son sounded like an angry beast was crawling out of his belly. But I could not be more proud of the way that he filled the cup without missing a drop. And honestly, my idea of using that cup to collect potential barf makes me proud of myself.
My driving speed picked up just a bit as I swiftly made the finally set of turns in my neighborhood. I feel like a bad parent because I was thinking “Please don’t spill it” the whole time rather than “Oh, poor boy.” As I threw the car into park, I was already jumping out my car door in order to open his car door and grab the cup that was getting full and dangerously approaching the top. Please don’t spill it! Oh no, I’m still a bad parent. His mom lovingly got him to our couch, tucked him in, and took care of him.
I emptied the cup into the sewer at the street. Taking care of the actual barf gets me some level of parenting points. Right?